By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Brigham Young-Hawaiis decision this week to add mens water polo to its athletic program allows the school to retain its NCAA Division II status, but comes with a "significant" start-up cost, according to BYUH athletic director Randy Day.
Water polo replaces soccer as one of the schools four mens sports. The NCAA requires that affiliated schools offer at least four mens and four womens sports. Two of each must be team sports.
BYUH, which also offers mens basketball as a team sport, dropped mens soccer following the 2000 Fall season.
To accommodate the new sport, BYUH will renovate its on-campus pool at a projected cost of more than $500,000, Day said.
"Fortunately, before the decision to add water polo was even made, we had already planned to do a complete plumbing and filter change, and re-do the whole deck," Day said. "These renovations will just be a little more extensive and theyll take a little more time."
Day said another lane will be added to the width and the length will be extended to meet NCAA requirements. The renovations are expected to be completed sometime during the sports initial season this Fall.
"Unlike some athletic facilities, the pool is also used by the community, so any improvements are not merely an investment in the athletic program," Day said.
The pool is already equipped with lights and bleachers.
Despite the cost, Day said water polo was the least expensive team sport that had local competition available. Chaminade also offers water polo as a varsity sport.
Day said BYUH will apply for membership in the Western Water Polo Association, which includes Chaminade and several schools in the Los Angeles area.
The schools executive committee had also considered volleyball, baseball and football.
The next step for BYUH is to find a coach. The school will begin advertising for the part-time position within the next week and hopes to have a coach in place by early March.
Line scorer: Chaminades C.J. Cowgill made 26 of 27 free throw attempts and averaged 22.7 points as the Silverswords won two of three games last week.
Cowgill, a transfer from Division I Liberty, is currently No. 2 in the nation in free-throw shooting at 94.6 percent. He also ranks 17th in scoring (20.9).
Chaminade plays Hawaii-Hilo at 7:30 tonight at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.
BYUH pair makes history: BYUHs Petra Gaspar and Tagifano Soonalole made history last week as the first Division II doubles team to advance to the semifinals of the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, held in Farmers Branch, Texas.
The duo, ranked No. 1 in the WingspanBank.com NCAA Division II poll, fell to eventual champions Laura Granville and Gabriela Lasta of Stanford, 6-4, 6-4, last Friday.
Gaspar and Soonalole bounced back on Tuesday, defeating Hawaii-Pacifics Fleurette Miranti and Bianca Bareto, 8-1, as the Seasider women cruised past the Sea Warriors, 8-1.
On the mens side, HPUs Mark Johnson outlasted BYUHs Vladimir Sasic, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, to help the Sea Warriors pull out a 5-4 victory.
[back to top]